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“AMAZING!!!”
Review of Matafonua Lodge

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Matafonua Lodge
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Foa Island
Certificate of Excellence
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“AMAZING!!!”
Reviewed December 16, 2013 via mobile

Such a beautiful place! Loved the fales!
Nina and Darren are wonderful hosts and looked after us very well. Darren's dinners AND Nina's deserts were delicious. Snorkelling was great right outside the fales and I'd definitely recommend going for a dive! (Thanks again for the incredible photos!!)
Couldn't have asked for more, we hope to see you guys again during the whale season! Laura and Nick x

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank llw19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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400 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (84)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
Reviewed December 9, 2013

Cant ask for better, more friendly and welcoming hosts.
Excellent location, quiet, superb whale encounters!
Thanks for a magical time!
Simple accommodation, ideally suited to a remote island getaway. Great food, excellent and experienced whale guides who are conscious of the impact of people around whales while still achieving fantastic whale-swim opportunities.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Andrew L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed November 2, 2013

I stayed at Matafonua Lodge with friends in July for 4 nights. The resort is situated on the end of the peninsula with a beach on either side so no matter what way the wind is blowing you are guaranteed to find a sheltered spot on the beach. You can snorkel right off the beach in front of the lodge ...and it is beautiful!! The resort itself is basic with simple beach fales and a shared toilet block but the view from your fale is spectacular. Darren and Nina and family are very welcoming and while the food is not cheap...but it never is in Tonga...and it is really good. Darren's evening meals are amazing and he even did pig on the spit at our request...so tasty...but save some space for dessert ...Nina is the dessert Queen and there is always something delicious on offer.
You can do both diving and whale watching trips and although we didn't get to swim with the whales the trips were great Darren and staff were organised and knowledgeable and Nina's packed lunch was amazing!!
The staff are amazing and so friendly and helpful. Internet is available in the main areas.
If I had to say something negative it would be that there were no facilities to wash clothes (we were given a bucket to hand wash in!). The lodge has a washing machine and it would be great if they offered a washing service, I realise water is limited but one or two days a week would be useful especially for longer stays as ther did not appear to any facilities in town either.
All in all the resort is simple and not a cheap stay but worth every spent....we loved our stay and would return in a flash

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank wanderingirl23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coffs Harbour, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 1, 2013

We stayed at Matafonua in September 2013 for 6 nights. What a stunningly beautiful relaxing part of the world. The resort is basic, with small beachfront falaes and a shared amenities block, both of which are clean and tidy.
Darren and Nina are great hosts, who make you feel welcome and relaxed immediately. The food is just great, and we really liked the dinners where everyone ate together, sharing the stories of the day and making new friends.
The whale watching was the highlight of the week, and we were fortunate to get to swim with a mother and calf only about 5 metres away.
The snorkelling and diving was of a high quality.
The local staff were just great.......so friendly and happy.
The only down side was the unreliability of the local airline Real Tonga. Be prepared for delays or cancellations.....although we were secretly hoping to be stranded at Matafonua!!!
I cannot recommend this place highly enough

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank MarkbR3726GB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Timaru, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
117 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2013

Excellent place and hosts. Nice accommodation with wonderful ocean,sky and bush views. Darren and Nina with three children were very helpful, caring and accommodating. Darren agreed to go diving with me as a solo diver! That was awesome day . Great snorkeling , diving and kayaking. Very relaxed and easy going place with nice food and happy staff. Highly recommended holiday place . We were surprised with high high quality of equipment and efficiency of all staff even seeing whales after the end of the whaling season. This place is good at any time of the year as a perfect holiday destination. Real Tonga was good with small plane flying between islands. Nina has recommended Scenic hotel by the airport in Niku Alofa for a time feeling between flights, it was very good!.Thank you all.We will be back .

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank alex311327
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch, New Zealand
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 21, 2013

We booked with such high hopes for a relaxing tropical holiday. Matafonua exceeded all expectations and we can’t wait to go back.
Darren and Nina (and their children) are great as the hosts. Their relaxed caring attitude sets the tone at Matafonua.
There were so many highlights..... The staff in the kitchen - their humour and singing, Jodie and Gary made the whale swimming and the diving brilliant, the fales on the beach were great, the food was outstanding as were the beaches. BUT it was the people that were the real highlight - meals every night with people from all round the world and the Rice clan were perfect hosts and a joy to spend time with.
Back to work now - but with tans, great photos and life memories.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Roger H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
1 review
Reviewed October 15, 2013

Wow! Wow! Wow! What a fantastic relaxing 2 week holidaywe had. Loved the cute fales. The food was amazing - Nina you are the best dessert maker in the whole world. We felt like part of their family and they had invited us to stay with them. The snorkling with the colour of the reefs and the fish was amazing. Swimming with the whales was something I will never forget.
Everyone was friendly and always smiling and happy - from Darrin and Nina, the staff, the guests to the lovely local people. We will DEFINITELY be going back. Thank you to everyone at Matafonua Lodge for giving us a fantastic holiday.

Room Tip: Any fale you get here will be great
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Wendy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Matafonua Lodge

Property: Matafonua Lodge
Address: Foa Road | Faleloa, Tonga
Location: Tonga > Ha'apai Islands > Foa Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Foa Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Matafonua Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A Pacific-style resort located on the spectacular Northern tip of Foa Island. Pristine white-sand beach, safe swimming and exceptional snorkeling. Thatched-wall beach-front fales with very comfortable King sized beds. Excellent restaurant/bar with great variety of meals and drinks.On site scuba diving school and seasonal whale watching and swimming excursions. Good library and games available for guest use. Friendly, easy-going owner/managers live on-site. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Matafonua Hotel Ha`Apai Islands
Matafonua Lodge Tonga/Foa Island

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